I sat outside this morning after seeing Victoria off to work and looked around me. The sky was dark off toward Tampa with angry storm clouds. All around me the winds swirled with that soft sense of impending chaos which always precedes an approaching storm. At first, there were no squirrels. There never are at times like that. They know, somehow, that all hell is about to break loose, and they batten down the hatches.
But eventually Sunny came down the tree. She stopped halfway down the trunk and looked at me, making that chittering noise I’ve come to associate with squirrels asking “friend or foe?” When I said “Hey, crazy girl” and she heard my voice, she came on down the tree and hopped up onto my knee for the first peanut of the day. I watched her as she ran back up into the tree and sat on one of the lower limbs, munching on that peanut, and ate a few peanuts myself. That’s the morning ritual, having a breakfast of peanuts with the squirrels.